OHE January 20, 1998

Date: Tue, 20 Jan 1998 14:51:01 -1000
From: Patrick Rorie (prorie@hekili.k12.hi.us>
Subject: Hiking Accomplishments 1/17 - 1/19

== Saturday, 1/17 ==

Although a lousy day for hiking (lots of cloud cover and rain off and on all day) I didn't want to sit around the house so I headed for Kolekole pass in order to take advantage of the excellent work the HTMC trail clearing crew had done on the Honouliuli contour trail a few weeks earlier.

Arrived there at 10:20 a.m. (had a morning committment) and headed up toward the Kolekole rock. Passed it, traveled over a dirt road and went thru a lovely meadow. Shortly thereafter reached the contour trail which initially took me thru a paperbark grove.

Continued along the trail until I reached the place where we had lunch the day of the clearing. It took me about 1 hour 15 minutes to get there from my car.

Enjoyed a beverage and powerbar for 15 minutes then started moving again. Mabel Kekina pointed out a very gentle ridge across the valley on Dec. 28 but I could not see it on this day due to cloud cover. Worked my way along the Honouliuli Trail around the perimeter of the valley until I reached what looked like an excellent possibility. Went further along the contour trail just to make sure there wasn't a better ridge ahead.

Upon finding none I doubled back to the ridge I had seen earlier and began ascending it. I put my loppers to good use cutting thru clidemia (the kind with the wooden stem) tangles. It was very slow going cutting/pushing/crawling thru various flora until I reached a trail. Followed it and it took me toward the top of the Waianae Range. Encountered a good amount of uluhe fern on the way up. The last stretch was steep and I was very happy to discover the Kanehoa-Hapapa Trail once I reached the crest. It took me about 2 hours to go from the lunch spot to the Kanehoa-Hapapa Trail.

Next I went right and hiked along the summit ridge. It was completely socked in (there were no views) and the wind and rain made the conditions quite chilly so I kept moving as much as possible. I had never been on the trail before and found the various rock formations I passed/climbed over interesting.

After reaching Hapapa I crossed its broad top. Descended gradually to the contour trail over a superb open narrow section. Reached the Honouliuli Trail and followed it back to my car. 1 hour 20 minutes had elapsed since topping out on the Waianae Range from the side ridge.

== Sunday, 1/18 ==

Joined a group of HTMC and Sierra Club members for Halawa Ridge trail clearing. Started up the access trail which begins near a bridge along the H-3 access road around 8:30 a.m. Ascended somewhat steeply until the trail leveled off. Further on we walked up a dirt road which took us to a forested area where the Halawa Ridge Trail actually begins. It was kindof overcast with blue patches and the threat of rain.

The trip along the trail thru eucalyptus and guava was very pleasant. A Sierra Club person named Kathy lead the way and is a fast hiker. Dayle K. Turner kept up with us which surprised me. Apparently he has been working on his speed and agility. The din of the H-3 freeway accompanied the group throughout much of the hike/clearing. The trail contoured along the ridge and the miles flew by. Unfortunately we encountered a huge amount of uluhe fern well before the crossover point and commenced "harvesting" it. Jay Feldman, Nathan Yuen, and Dayle did excellent work.

Upon reaching the place where the trail crosses over from the right side of the ridge to the left side the upper group (which consisted of Bill Gorst, Will Kawano, Nathan, Jay, Dayle, Kathy and myself) hiked for a distance and then stopped for lunch and a much needed break.

At approx. 12:30 p.m. we proceeded along the contour trail spot clearing mainly pockets of uluhe which jutted out from the wall of the ridge. Bill, Will, Jay and Nathan crapped out and headed back to the trailhead at approx. 1 p.m. Kathy, Dayle and I continued toward the summit clearing as we went.

Kathy and Dayle arrived at the summit which was socked in before 2 p.m. I caught up with them 5 or 10 minutes later. Dayle pounded out a lunch spot while I cut a swath for those who desired to climb to the peak following the initial summit area.

Kathy and Dayle started going back down the trail at 1:57 p.m. I did a little more work then followed them at 2:02 p.m. On the way down I did more trail maintenance and enjoyed the spectacular upper contour section. I counted 17 bends in the trail. At the crossover point I stopped clearing, put my bolo knife away and began running. I ran as much as possible in order to catch up with Dayle but didn't catch him until the wooded eucalyptus segment. The two of us along with the last members of the group reached the H-3 access road at approx. 4:30 p.m.

== Monday, 1/19 ==

Joined Dayle K. Turner for a hike of the Diamond Head Crater Rim (refer to his "Weekend Hiking Haps" for a more detailed description of the event).

Afterward I headed for Mount Olomana - the Diamond Head of the windward side of Oahu. Parked near a bridge which crosses Maunawili Stream. Departed my car at 12:36 p.m. Walked past a guard shack which was unoccupied. About 10 yards further on I went left and up into the forest. Ascended somewhat steeply on a trail cleared recently by HTMC. It leveled off and opened up allowing for nice views of the surrounding region. The trail took me to the junction where the "Bull Run" trail and the better known/more heavily traveled Olomana Trail intersect.

Pressing on I went thru an ironwood grove and ascended gradually along the ridge. Passed a couple of bolders and reached what I call "the wall" - a steep section which requires the use of roots to get beyond. Successfully negotiated "the wall" and further ahead climbed up and over an eroded area. Reached a small, but nearly vertical rock face and used a red and black rope along with a cable to get over it. Noticed an elliptical metal loop sticking a couple of inches out of the rock. The work of Jim Yuen no doubt.

Arrived at the summit of the first peak at 1:27 p.m. Enjoyed the outstanding 360-degree panoramic views. Spotted the lone ironwood which is on the Ko'olau summit crest between Konahuanui and Mount Olympus. It is the sight of Wing Ng and Mike Uslan's "true horror".

At 1:36 p.m. I began descending toward the second peak. Once I reached a saddle I climbed briefly using another red and black rope. Reached the second peak at 1:43 p.m. Rested for 1 minute then commensed an abrupt descent. Used a cloth-like material (not really a rope - more like a belt) to get down to a tree. The cloth ended so I had to carefully move downward until I reached a cloth/cable combo.

Got to the saddle between the second and third peaks and began to climb the very thin ridge of the third peak. Very carefully and nervously inched to the left of the "puka" bolder. I did not bring rope and there was no cable for security. Talk about "true horror". Lets just say that I was extremely focused !

Scrambled up a long rock face (there use to be a cable which offered aid but its gone now). While scrambling I stopped briefly at a point where I had to climb on my belly over a rock outcrop/crumbly bolder. I asked myself,"Wait a minute ! You can probably make it over this but can you make it down later ?!". The area was narrow and exposed. There wasn't much room for error. I contemplated turning back but my pride and ego told me,"No way !!!". I ascended on my stomach over the bolder and finished the scramble. The ridge leveled off and widened a bit.

Next I went around a finger shaped rock formation then right, off of the ridge line. Climbed the final rock face which was slippery and crumbly in spots. Once again there use to be a cable to help but it has been removed.

Arrived at the flat summit of the third peak at 2:13 p.m. Walked to the location where the ridge descends steeply toward the Ko'olau Mountain Range. Looked down on lush Maunawili Valley. Walked back a short distance to a good view spot under a tree and sat down. Enjoyed a beverage while spocking Ohulehule and familiar points along the Ko'olau summit ridge.

Anxious to get past the tight spots I had successfully negotiated earlier, I departed the third peak at 2:21 p.m. The final rock face was much easier going down than coming up. On the way down the first section of the long rock face I noticed a metal peg stuck into the rock. I pulled on it but the spike wouldn't budge.

When I reached the narrow exposed spot I sat down, established a good hand hold on my left and swung my body around while dropping toward the ledge below. I was afraid for a few seconds until my feet broke my fall. I then completed the manuever by extending my arms out which allowed my feet to reach the ledge.

Breathing a sigh of relief I continued to descend toward the "puka" bolder. I noticed another, older elliptical metal loop on the way down to it. Very carefully went down and around the bolder past a death drop. Ascended as quickly as possible to a point beyond the unique structure jamming my left middle and index fingers in the process. Told myself not to let my guard down as I concluded the descent to the saddle.

Retraced my steps to the first peak and stopped there for a break at 2:48 p.m. Took delight in the awesome view while consuming grape drink and a power bar.

Started down the mountain at 3 p.m. and reached my car at approx. 3:42 p.m.

With ample time remaining in the day and energy levels still not exhausted I drove to Lanikai. Parked my car on the right shoulder past the entrance to the Mid Pacific Country Club before the Bluestone turnaround area.

At 4:02 p.m. I started up a private road toward the Kaiwa Ridge trailhead. I had my loppers in tow for possible trail maintenance.

Ascended to a set of stacked bunkers (pill boxes) and stopped for a breather. The beautiful Mokulua Islands off the coast of Lanikai caught my eye as did a para-sailer moments away from taking off.

Pressing on I experienced some minor roller coaster action as I traversed the ridge.

Arrived at Keolu Hills lookout at 4:25 p.m., a rock outcrop with the name "Lina" painted on it featuring nice views of Bellows Air Field and Mount Olomana. As I gazed at Olomana esp. the ridge leading to the third peak I said to myself,"Hey, I was just there !".

Departed the lookout at 4:33 p.m. descending briefly. Enjoyed the terrific view of Pu'u O'Lanikai, a miniature pyramid shaped peak which stands out prominently along the ridge crest.

Noticed fresh yellow ribbons along the trail and did not need to use my loppers very often. Apparently someone had done some maintenance recently. I was grateful.

Strolled thru the haole koa forest over the rolling hills until I reached the top of Pu'u O'Lanikai. Observed the fish shrine above Wailea Point toward the east, a rock formation used by ancient Hawaiians to spot the best fishing areas or so I'm told. Delighted in the excellent views of Waimanalo Bay, Manana (Rabbit) Island, and the Ko'olaus.

Descended Pu'u O'Lanikai thru more haole koa and emerged from the trail at 5:02 p.m.

Changed shoes and walked down Luika Place. Turned right onto Poopoo and went left at Aalapapa. Made another left at Kaelepulu and approached my car at 5:24 p.m.

== Patrick

Return to OHE top | Return to Oahu Hike Tales | Email Dayle